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MISSION & HISTORY

 

Old Westbury Gardens, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the former home of John S. Phipps, his wife, Margarita Grace Phipps and their four children. Completed in 1906 by the English designer, George A. Crawley, the magnificent Charles II-style mansion is nestled amid 200 acres of formal gardens, landscaped grounds, woodlands, ponds and lakes. Westbury House is furnished with fine English antiques and decorative arts from the more than fifty years of the family's residence.

Today, Old Westbury Gardens welcomes visitors of all ages for guided tours of Westbury House, in-depth tours of the formal gardens, school visits, children's programs and events, family programs, museum exhibitions, classic car shows, indoor and outdoor classical and pop concerts, lectures, book signings, horticultural demonstrations and workshops, Scottish Games, botanical arts and gardening classes, and Master Gardener and Educator-led talks and tours of topics relating to horticulture, art, history, design and architecture.

Our Mission, Old Westbury Gardens seeks to inspire appreciation of the early 20th century American country estate through faithful preservation and interpretation of its landscape, gardens, architecture, and collections.

We hope you enjoy our home!

 
 
 

MEET THE TEAM 

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NANCY COSTOPULOS

President & CEO of Old Westbury Gardens

 
 

Nancy Costopulos brings to the role of President & CEO of Old Westbury Gardens 24 years of nonprofit leadership experience, most recently as chief marketing officer of the Chicago-based American Marketing Association. She also served as director of membership and annual giving for the Los Angeles Zoo Association and director of membership marketing at the Chicago Botanic Garden, one of the country’s leading public gardens and horticultural science institutions. 

In all three roles, Nancy worked to broaden organizational awareness, boost member engagement, strengthen relationships with supporters, and grow revenue.

“Old Westbury Gardens is truly a national treasure to be preserved and shared,” said Nancy. “The opportunity to lead this organization into its next great chapter is a privilege.” 

 

click name to read bio

ERIC A. WHEELER

Director of Finance

Eric A. Wheeler joined the staff of Old Westbury Gardens in December 1999. He oversees all aspects of the organizations finances, including the development and management of budgets, preparation of financial statements and reporting to the Gardens’ Board, senior management and the public. Eric brings to the organization over three decades of financial, human resource and IT management experience in the non-profit sector with a focus on developing policies and procedure to improve performance and productivity.

Wheeler holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Communications from Iona College and a Master of Divinity Degree from St. Vladimir’s Seminary.

PAUL HUNCHAK

Director of Visitor Services and Public Programs

Paul Hunchak is a native of the Philadelphia suburbs and graduated from Kettering University in Flint, MI. For most of his professional career Paul has worked with nonprofit organizations with experience in administration, event management, and publishing. He joined Old Westbury Gardens in 2001 as Visitor Services Director and has been responsible for Gardens’ daily operations and public programs.

Paul passion for history and background in interpretation provides the enthusiasm which he brings to the Gardens’ formal and informal education programs. He has lectured on the history of the Phipps estate as well as the designer of Westbury House, George Crawley. Paul oversees the planning, design, and installation of temporary exhibitions, most recently the Gardens’ exhibit: “The Great War: Portraits of Privilege, Duty, and Sacrifice.” He is currently overseeing the development of the upcoming “Back of the House” interpretation experience.

LORRAINE GILLIGAN

Director of Preservation

Lorraine has been Director of Preservation since 2008. Prior to her appointment, she was Executive Director of Planting Fields Foundation. She has extensive experience managing a variety of restoration and collections care projects. Most recently she oversaw the recreation of the Service Wing Portico and Courtyard, and is project manager for the restoration of Westbury House roof and terra cotta cornice. She has worked with conservators and contractors and has successfully secured funding for many projects. She is a graduate of the Attingham Summer School and has attended the Victorian Society study programs in London and Newport. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Binhamton University and the University of Chicago respectively.

MAURA M. BRUSH

Director of Horticulture

Maura began her career at Old Westbury Gardens as an intern in 1999. She joined the staff in 2000, shortly after earning her degree in Horticulture from the University of Maine, and was appointed Director of Horticulture in 2007. During her tenure many projects have been completed including a complete tree inventory, the commission of a Cultural Landscape Report, and the restoration of the South Allee. Having begun her career as an intern, Maura is very involved with the Horticultural Internship Program which has grown from one three-month intern to five interns with placements of six to eighteen months each.

Maura has always had a passion for Horticulture but through her work at Old Westbury Gardens, she has developed a particular focus on historic gardens and cultural landscapes. “A garden is never finished” says Maura. “There is always something to be planted, pruned, or weeded and it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks. But, always, there is a larger goal here and that is to make each visitor to our gardens feel as if they are guests of Margarita and Jay Phipps.”

 

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

 

Carol E. Large
Chairman

Laureen S. Knutsen
Vice Chairman

Nancy Costopulos
President & CEO

Anne B. Byers
Secretary

John M. Deignan
Treasurer

Board of Trustees

Mary Lee Citrino

John S. P. Cochran

Jack Foley

Emily T. Frick

Robert F. Hussey

Robert M. Johnston

Albert Kalimian

Michael T. Keenan

Eric Krasnoff

Sandra M. Lessing

Arthur S. Levine

Peter P. MacKinnon

Kay Maris

Dita Amory Nickson

Jeffrey S. Phipps

Lloyd P. Zuckerberg

Trustees Emeritus

Mary S. Phipps
Chairman Emeritus

Arlene J. Blau

Frank Castagna

Susan Phipps Cochran

Ann B. Copeland

J. Oliver Crom

Beatrice H. Guthrie

Ann L. Nolte

 

Advisors

Roger L. Bahnik

Jane H. Choate

William T. Comfort. Jr.

Patricia C. Montgomerie

Dorothy B. Moore

John S. Norbeck

Luis E. Rinaldini

Julian H. Robertson, Jr.

Vickie V. Stanco

Norman H. Volk

Richard Weir III

Julie Wellington

George K. Wittlinger, Sr.

 
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